Using strategies that keep the mental energy in good balance is always important. Strategies are also possible to learn quickly and benefit from. Below are some strategies listed, see these as examples.
Brain rest and activity
Brain fatigue always requires good brain rest and balancing of the energy budget. Stop and reflect on how it feels. When is the mind calm and what gives energy back? In between, joy must be included, even if can take energy. It is important for wellbeing.
Take regular breaks during an activity or use pacing, spreading out activity, and alternating it with rest periods. Since it is often difficult to feel the actual energy level, it is necessary to pause and rest regularly, even before the brain fatigue is active. Longer brain rest during the day and short regular breaks during an activity can be beneficial. But how much and how often must be adapted to each one. In the beginning, setting a timer can be helpful.
Sleep is always a good rest for the brain, but for some it is difficult to get good brain rest. What is restful is personal and everyone needs to explore that for themselves. Nature walks, crafts, gardening, photography, bird watching, meditations, and yoga are just a few examples of activities that can bring calm to the brain.
Increase activity slowly and make sure there is enough energy reserved over time, for months and years. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work to train one’s mental energy by putting more effort into thought-provoking activities.
Saving energy requires planning. Planning provides overview and foresight and creates calm. It also becomes clear if there are too many activities during the day and during the week and if there is time for rest.
Sound and light
Hearing protectors or earplugs can relieve loud noises. Sunglasses or other coloured glasses, limiting screen time, and extinguishing troublesome lamps can give relief from the impact of strong light. It can save energy for what is important.
Meetings and socializing with others
It is important to meet friends, but not too many at a time. One must prioritise and find a balance between joy and wellbeing and how much energy it can cost.
Choose stores that are quiet and shop when there are few people in the store. It may also be wise not to visit too many stores at a time. Shopping via the internet can be a good option.
It is often tiring to use public transport. Driving a car also gives a lot of visual impressions. Minimise impressions when it is possible. For some, it may be more restful to stay for a while in a completely new calm environment without too many demands.
Read and write
Reading is tiring for most people suffering from brain fatigue. Try to reading for short periods, repeat when necessary, and read at a slower pace. Often it works better with audiobooks. Computer screens are often extremely tiring to read on (due to flickering, and frame rate).
Irritability and tearfulness
Irritability and tearfulness can be treated with a low dose of antidepressant medication, such as SSRI, if needed. It is also worthwhile to understand that irritability and tearfulness can get better as energy increases. Relatives and close friends need to understand and be involved in alleviating unnecessary conflicts.
Sleep is important for recovery. The problem for people with brain fatigue is that they can often be restless or overstimulated after the day’s activities and that makes it harder to fall asleep. Trying to calm down before it is time to sleep is recommended. Generally, it is good to be careful with coffee and alcohol too late at night. If, in despite of attempts at a good sleep routine, there is little to no improvement, medicine can be important. There is no drug recommended for people with brain fatigue. One must be in consultation with a treating physician to try and find out what works best for them.
There is insufficient evidence for the use of nutritional supplements and elimination or modified diets to relieve brain fatigue. Eating regularly and with a well-composed diet that provides energy for an extended period of time is important for everyone but perhaps even more important for people suffering from brain fatigue. Increased sweet cravings are common, with the risk of weight gain.
Physical activity may benefit the brain in a number of ways, but when suffering from brain fatigue, the brain does not function normally and physical activity does not work in the same way as for a healthy brain. Moderate physical exercise, such as walking or perhaps a little more strenuous activity can be beneficial for many but must always be individually adapted. There is a lack of knowledge today about how physical activity should be designed for brain fatigue.